First and foremost if you are new to accepting leads, please make sure to check out Tips for getting started with lead gen on Hotel Tech Report to make sure you are setup for success.
Each lead comes with a purchase journey insight card that should help you better tailor your followup to be more effective.
- Type 1: Research phase leads
- Type 2: Shortlist building phase leads
- Type 3: Decision phase leads
- Type 4: RFP inquiry leads
Type 1: Research phase leads
- What is it? The hotelier is researching content in your sub-category on Hotel Tech Report and has explicitly stated that they are in the market within the next 12-months.
- Stage of the purchase journey? Early, just beginning initial research.
- Why are they valuable? The earlier you spot a potential lead the sooner you can work your way into their consideration set as they do their research.
- Follow-up tips: DO NOT HARD SELL! These hoteliers are open to talking with vendors but have not explicitly asked to speak with you and depending on your brand awareness may not even be familiar with your brand. Therefore it is important to frame your approach as being a trusted and knowledgeable advisor there to help them learn about the category and selling your product should come as a byproduct of them trusting you and wanting to learn more. Check out the template at the bottom of this article for inspiration
Type 2: Shortlist building phase leads
- What is it? The hotelier has given Hotel Tech Report their criteria and requirements and has asked for recommendations for their top matches which are automatically made based on data in the platform. Want to match with more leads? Learn how
- Stage of the purchase journey? Middle, compiling their consideration set to begin vendor outreach and comparisons.
- Why are they valuable? By having a great reputation on Hotel Tech Report you can match with hoteliers who may have never even considered your product otherwise which is what makes matches so valuable and in some ways even more valuable than direct leads if followed up with and nurtured effectively.
- Follow-up tips: DO NOT HARD SELL! These hoteliers are open to talking with vendors but have not explicitly asked to speak with you and depending on your brand awareness may not even be familiar with your brand. Therefore it is important to frame your approach as being a trusted and knowledgeable advisor there to help them learn about the category and selling your product should come as a byproduct of them trusting you and wanting to learn more. Check out the template at the bottom of this article for inspiration. Also, DEFINITELY make sure to reference your reputation on Hotel Tech Report and leverage your profiles to build trust with these users since they have explicitly come to HTR for verified client reviews and recommendations from the platform.
Type 3: Decision phase leads
- What is it? These are hoteliers who have explicitly asked to connect with your company. They can request information directly (eg. price quote, demo, reference check) from thousands of pages throughout HTR including your profiles, comparison pages, alternatives pages and even the automated software finder quiz results page.
- Stage of the purchase journey? Late, they're ready to make a decision and you are in the running as a top contender.
- Why are they valuable? They have explicitly asked to connect with your brand based on your reputation on HTR so you've made it into their consideration set. They are also late in the decision process and extremely high intent.
- Follow-up tips: The most critical thing to remember is that there is a direct correlation between vendor response time to lead inquiries and close rates. Responding quickly is critical so it is recommended that you setup automated followup in your CRM for direct leads or at least prioritize and send to your sales team using the forward to CRM feature and a tool like Zapier email parser to parse and route the lead properly into your CRM. While we never recommend hard selling, these leads have asked for specific information so make sure to pay attention to what they wanted (eg. demo, price quote) and make sure to address that in your followup. Lastly, we also advise including snippets of social proof from reviews from similar hoteliers to them on your HTR profiles (ex. if the lead is a boutique hotel in Europe, use a tool like Gyazo to take some screenshots of reviews from boutique hotels in Europe on your HTR profiles and include them in your followup to show "here's what hoteliers like you are saying about our product".
Type 4: RFP inquiry leads
- What is it? These are hoteliers who are doing research and want to compare vendors in their consideration set to present to their team to rally buy-in and offload some of the decision making responsibility.
- Stage of the purchase journey? Mid/late, they've made their consideration set based on vendor profiles and reputations on HTR and are compiling information to help them think through their options and compare.
- Why are they valuable? In some cases these are decision makers themselves looking to better understand their options but often times these leads are direct reports of a decision maker who is doing research to present them with more information that will inform their decision as well as which vendors they wish to pursue further and communicate with.
- Follow-up tips: Now remember, these hoteliers didn't opt to connect directly with you--their goal is to gather information to inform their decision making which is an important distinction that should inform your outreach and followup. Remember, they don't want to be sold or they would have reached out to you directly. While they did explicitly ask for information from/about your company and products, they didn't ask to kick off the sales process so this should be an option for them in your followup but the primary response content should be along the lines of "I know you're doing your research and wanted more information to help you compare options so I just wanted to see if there was anything specific that would be most helpful for you or most important. Are there specific features you are looking for? Do you need more specifics on any integrations? Do you know about the product and just need pricing information? We are here to help in any way we can so if you'd like to hop on even if that just means to share more inside info on best practices and what the latest trends are in [sub-category] we're here to help so let me know." Also, knowing that these buyers are gathering information it often helps to build trust by sharing any value add content that you have produced internally (make sure its not all buzzwords and fluff, it should be value add or it may scare them away) or you can share any content created about your product/category from the HTR content studio (often helps build trust since they are an HTR user they will especially value and trust HTR content above any in-house vendor produced content that comes with inherent bias).